Category Archives: Armadillos

Anything to do with armadillos


I’ve lived in Arkansas for a long time, since I was a kid actually, and I have never seen an armadillo in my yard until now. Occasionally I would see them on the side of the road or out in the woods, but I was shocked that there was one in my backyard! I noticed the holes around the yard and under my shed about a month ago, I thought it was my Chow Chow since she digs sometimes when it gets hot, but then they came back after I filled them in and one night I saw a small animal crawl under the shed. After that I was convinced that it was a raccoon but thought it odd because I had never had troubles in the past with them.
About a week or two ago I found the real culprit. I was out walking Zelda (my dog) early in the morning, around 6 o’clock, when we saw a big round rock digging in the yard. I unhooked the leash and let Zel chase it down, it wobbled away and I finally realized what was happening. I had an armadillo in my yard! A few days later I got an even bigger look at the picture when I spotted three small shapes following the larger one late at night out from under the shed. What I was dealing with was not one armadillo, but a family!
At this point I was stuck. While I was ruthless when I gamed online, I have a soft heart and didn’t want to hurt the animals. That’s when I found this website. I was excited to see that there were people that regularly dealt with things like this, it’s usually other animals but they do armadillos too! It was also good to know that the armadillos wouldn’t be hurt but released (I learned that after talking to a technician). I’ve already had an inspection done and tomorrow I’m getting help getting rid of the armadillos in my yard!

Armadillos in the Yard

armadillo removal

As a recipient of many, many boring videos from Grandpa, I’m so grateful he and Grandma now have armadillos in their yard.  Grandpa retired about five years ago.  It almost drove him crazy, and it almost made Grandma homicidal.  Grandpa is the kind of guy who just wasn’t cut out for retired life.  He needs to always have a project, a hobby, ways of filling up the hours of every day.  He was born towards the end of the Great Depression, and his parents were extremely hard working, frugal people. So, that’s how he grew up.  He worked hard his whole life, threw himself into whatever he did.  He was an engineer who helped build water systems for cities, pipelines and dams.  Even though he had a demanding job, he would come home and spend hours working in the shed, tinkering around with one thing or another.

He didn’t want to retire, either.  But, Grandma was tired of moving around from city to city every few years when an engineering project was complete.  She wanted to live near her grandkids.  So, after a few years of back and forth between the two of them, he retired.  His eyesight had already started to fail him, so tinkering around in the shed or work room became more and more difficult.  He drifted aimlessly around the house, getting in Grandma’s way, and starting one project or another, and then losing interest in it.  He needed a hobby, and he needed one soon, or things could go horribly, horribly wrong.

My Dad got together with my aunts and uncles, and they all decided to chip in and buy Grandpa a new video camera for his birthday.  He loved it, and started filming everything.  One of my cousins got the not-so-bright idea to show Grandpa how to edit the films and email them.  Soon, our emails were flooded with videos showing Grandma planting tulip bulbs, the dust in the chimney (seriously, we got a video about dust), and videos of photo albums.

Then, the day arrived when Grandpa discovered armadillos in the yard.  It gave him an interesting subject.  He documented the scrapes the armadillos made in the grass.  He lay in wait until they came out and filmed them scuttling around the yard, foraging.  He showed how they lived under the stairs.  They even came right up and sniffed his boots, and he got that on film.  Of course, he had to explain that he was sorry the lens cap was in the frame, but the camera was pointed straight down and there was nothing he could do about the dangling lens cap.

Grandpa’s editing techniques leave a lot to be desired, and certainly his narrative could be livened up.  However, with the armadillos in his yard, at least his subject is a lot more interesting.

Armadillo on the Lawn

armadillo removal

A new puppy and an armadillo on the lawn do not mix.  It’s getting to the point where I hate both.  I’ve always considered myself an animal-lover, but this new drama between a rowdy puppy and a destructive armadillo on my lawn at two in the morning is starting to take its toll.


We already have a small dog who prefers to stay indoors as he is aging, but as he gets older and more sick, he prefers to be left alone.  I had the not-so-brilliant idea that we should get another dog, a puppy that could grow with the kids.  The children could play catch with it outside, I’d get more exercise as I took the dog out for walks, and it might ease the imminent trauma of losing our current pet.


So, we got a boxer/terrier puppy mix.  We found him at the local shelter, and I could not believe how beautiful and friendly he was.  Then, we took him home.  He is a forceful ball of non-stop energy.  He makes the children happy, when I feel he’s safe enough for them to play together.  Most of the time, he just tries to chew everything and everyone in a playful way.  He’s like a small tank with happy genes, and he never stops.


You can imagine, then, the racket that woke us up the other night when our puppy discovered an armadillo on the lawn.  It had already been a long day at work and with the kids, and I didn’t get to bed until late.  When the puppy started barking sharply and constantly, it woke us all up, including our ornery old indoor dog, who started howling, angry at being disturbed.  I felt his pain.  If I could have howled, I just might have.


I threw on my robe and slippers, and rushed outdoors, trying to quietly yell at the dog to shut up so I wouldn’t wake up whichever neighbors had managed to sleep through the earlier noise.  It took a while for me to understand why the dog was so noisy.  We had an armadillo on the lawn.


The puppy seemed satisfied that he had done his job, and finally hushed up, but he still chased the armadillo around the lawn.  As soon as the puppy approached the armadillo, it would jump straight up into the air, and run in a different direction, surprisingly agile.  If I’d been watching a video of it, I’m sure I would have laughed at the antics of both creatures.  Since it was two in the morning, I was annoyed, embarrassed and cold, it wasn’t as funny.  It became even less amusing when I saw the holes the armadillo had scratched in the lawn.


I’d hoped the armadillo in the lawn would be too scared to return, but it has returned several nights in a row, taunting my puppy.  I’m done with the drama.  Let Allstate Animal Control get rid of the armadillo on the lawn, and let a trainer teach my dog some manners.  Then, maybe, life will be a little more normal.



Armadillo Removal

how to get rid of armadillos

Running, running, running away from the armadillo removal guys.  My leathery-looking pointed ears picked up the sound of two men stomping around, the metal cage rattling its parts and thumping up against the men’s legs.  They set it down, intent on armadillo removal, but it is not to be.  I may look like a dinosaur descendant.  I may spend my days digging and grubbing around in the dirt intent on finding food.  But, I am not that stupid.  The men set up their cage and toss dirt on the bottom of it to make me think I could dig my way out of it or dig down to find some juicy grubs.  But, I’m up and running.  They’re surprised at how fast I can move.

Rocks, pebbles and sand rush by as my tiny short legs move deceptively fast.  Every now and then, I hide behind a small bush, certain of its ability to hide my presence.  Then, I’m up and off and running again.  Darting this way, jumping straight up in the air, throwing myself that way at high speed.  The armadillo removal guys will never catch me, never.

As I run, my small brain considers why these two men would be after me.  I have done nothing wrong.  I only take care of my needs.  Food, shelter.  That’s it.  Yes, I have to dig, dig, dig for it all. That’s why I’m blessed with these fabulous shovels I call paws.  Sometimes I have to pull back the green grass to get at the yummy bugs just under the surface.  I dig, dig, dig until the bugs go scattering around in the daylight and then I snap them up.  Sometimes, I like to lie down in a cool spot, so I dig, dig, dig until I make a shallow depression just perfect for my armored body.

So, I suppose the reason I’m dealing with the threat of armadillo removal is someone doesn’t like me digging.  I can’t help it.  It’s what I do.  And, now, running is what I do.

I haven’t quite reached safety.  These small bushes don’t hide me for long, and I’m off and scrambling here and there, intent on freedom.  What I would give for soft, cool ground to dig in, lay down in, and feed in!  That armadillo cage won’t trap me!

Night is coming on, and soon they won’t be able to see me.  I’m not even certain they’re trying to chase me.  I stop and listen, and don’t hear their movements anymore.  I turn and look, but see nothing.  Is it possible that I’m safe?

I stop running, and slowly root around for a bit.  There, under those wooden stairs.  It’ll be cool and it’s a perfect place for bugs to feast upon.  My body bumps up against the steps as I amble into the cool safe spot.  Something smells delicious just over there, and I swear I can hear grubs moving around.  I walk over and start digging and “SNAP!”

Armadillo removal guys win this round.

Armadillo Exterminator

armadillo removal

“I’m telling you, call for armadillo extermination right now.  What else can we do?”

I absolutely love my sister, but lately she was really starting to wear on me, and on my family.  Since her ugly divorce three years ago (which I applauded, by the way), she was relying on me to take care of her.  Not financially, but, let’s just say married couples have “Honey Do” lists.  She gives me “Bro Do’s.”  She never really developed enough self confidence or self-reliance to handle big household tasks.  So, I found myself doing things like fixing her garage door, trimming trees, moving furniture or fixing plumbing for her.  She and her ex-husband had bought a nice house with a huge lawn when they got married, with dreams of filling it with children and having a safe, beautiful yard for them to play in.  Unfortunately, he was not the dream husband she thought he was.  They never ended up with children and he ended up with a girl he’d dated back in high school.  I was now stuck with taking care of that huge yard and it was getting tiresome.

My wife, my beautiful, understanding and compassionate wife, encouraged me to help my sister in the beginning.  She realized my sister was going through a very difficult time,  and she wasn’t really equipped to handle it alone.  So, while I took care of yard work and was my sister’s handyman, my wife spent hours on the phone with my sister listening to her troubles and helping her as best she could.

Now, after three years, I was feeling like an “enabler,” as I stood on her porch looking over her yard and talking about armadillo extermination.

“Just look what it did to my beautiful bird bath, the one I bought on my trip to Reno!”  she was saying.  The armadillo had dug several shallow holes all throughout the yard, including right next to the chintzy bird bath my sister had fallen in love with.  The armadillo’s hole caused the bird bath to tip over and break, which prompted my sister’s early-morning phone call to my cell phone on a beautiful Saturday morning.  I had planned on sleeping in.  Oh, well.

“I’m not even sure there’s an armadillo extermination company,” I said.  “I think they just trap armadillos and get rid of them.”

“Well, I honestly don’t care what they do with the armadillo.  I just want them to get rid of it for me!  Will you set it up?”

I sighed.  Three years.  It was time to help my sister get the confidence she needed to handle problems like armadillos digging in her yard all by herself.   I looked up the number for armadillo extermination, which was an armadillo trapping service, dialed it, and handed her the phone.  She tried to give me the phone back, panicking, but I smiled and said, “You talk to them, just tell them about the armadillo holes and the bird bath.  They’ll know how to help you.”  Baby steps, I thought.

Armadillo Digging

Armadillo eating a worm
Armadillo eating a worm after it has dug a hole in your yard.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

“Bad dog!  Bad dog!”  She waved my finger in my face, frowning and angry, and I had no way to tell her the holes in the yard were there because an armadillo was digging the past few nights, not me.

My tail drooped.  It’s annoying how my tail tends to do that even when I know I haven’t done anything wrong.  She gets that mad face and talks sternly and my traitor tail just droops like it has a shame of its own.

I tried to tell her with my eyes that the damage done to the yard was done by a nocturnal creature, who only thinks it’s cute and harmless.  My ears perked forward.  “Please, please try to understand me,” my whine said.

She doesn’t own the place, it’s a rental, but she takes care of it well enough since she and I have called it home for the past five years.  We’ve had lots of romps out there when the weather’s good, and I chase down snowballs when it’s cold.  My favorite is when she blows through a small stick and these mysterious shiny, round things float up into the air.  She laughs so hard as I jump and snatch at them, keeping them from flying away.  We have good times here, so it’s my job to make sure she and this place stay nice and safe.

The night before, I’d been on patrol in the yard, making sure everything was as it should be.  Porch chairs safe, check.  Barbeque tucked away, check.  Shrubs in place, check.  My eyes shined bright in the dark and my nose made sure the only smells in the yard were the ones that should be there.  Until something scratched at the back fence.  I was completely alert in milliseconds, snuffling, growling, warning.  But it just came through anyway.

It was an alien.  Long snout, small ears perked up, claws that wouldn’t stop.  I’d heard of this from some of the dogs at the dog park.  It was an armadillo digging in MY yard, and it acted like it completely ignored me.

Perplexed, I backed off a little.  I wanted to watch it for a while, get to know my enemy before I attacked, just to make sure it didn’t have any nasty tricks.  Turns out, that was my undoing, because that armadillo dug as fast as it could into the grass and down into the dirt, grabbing at any bugs it unearthed.  I bounded forward and barked, and it jumped straight up into the air, landed and shuffled quickly off to another part of the yard.  Before I knew it, the armadillo digging had recommenced.  I decided enough was enough.  I was going to chase it out of my yard despite any tricks it might have.  Full-on assault.  I barked, chased, growled, swatted and it finally disappeared back under the fence.

I felt great and successful and proud of the night’s work, until the next morning when she came out.  All she saw was something had dug holes around her yard, and I was the only creature in sight capable of causing such damage.  Before I knew it, I was berated and punished, and she couldn’t understand my efforts at telling her the real story.  She’ll find out, though.  If that armadillo comes back to dig again tonight, I’ll be tied up, incapable of digging holes like that.  Then, she’ll get someone to take care of the armadillo problem and she and I will be back to chasing shiny round floaty balls all over the yard again.

Armadillo Problems

“What’s wrong, babe?  You look really tired – you ok?”

“No, not really.  I was dealing with armadillo problems all last night.”  I was grumpy after last night’s activities.  I couldn’t believe she was seriously asking me if I was okay.  Before we got married, I thought women were light sleepers, especially when they had children.  Kind of a protective instinct thing.  She had taught me that not only was I wrong, but I was apparently a little chauvinist.

“Armadillo problems?  Are you sure?”  I tried to give her credit for noticing I was tired and being concerned for me, but I was tired, frustrated, had a long day ahead of me, and couldn’t believe she was asking me if I was sure.  She must have read all that on my face, because she slipped over to my side of the bed and started rubbing my shoulders.  “Tell me what happened,” she said.

“Well, about two in the morning, I started hearing something scratching around under the floor.”

“In the crawlspace?” she asked.

“That’s right.  At least, that’s what I thought.  I tried to just ignore it, but it didn’t stop and I didn’t want the kids to wake up.”  The shoulder-rubbing stopped briefly.

“I’m not going to apologize for not waking up,” she said tersely.

“I know, hon, I’m not saying you should.  I’m just really tired, okay?”  The shoulder-rubbing started up again, and after a couple of seconds, I felt it was all right to go on with the story.

“So, I grabbed a flashlight and went outside to look around a bit in the crawl space.  Sure enough, it was an armadillo.  It looked like it was digging a pretty big hole right under our bedroom.  I about had a heart attack, too, because as soon as the light shone in its eyes, it jumped up and hit its head on the floor.  I thought it was going to attack me!”  I tried to ignore the stifled giggle from my wife.

“And, did this vicious armadillo actually attack you?  Are you hurt?”  she asked.

“Don’t make fun!  I said I almost had a heart attack.  It was the middle of the night and I was tired!  I know they don’t really attack, but I still don’t want that thing bumping around under there and digging holes all over the yard.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” she said.  “What’d you do, then?”

“I chased it.”

“You chased it?  Did you catch it?”

“Well, almost.”


“Hey, those suckers can run pretty fast!”  I was a little defensive, remembering how stupid I must have looked running all over yard in the middle of the night.

“I’m sure they can.”

“And they hop!” I said, turning around to look at her.

“Oooh, they hop!  Well, then, you were lucky to get out alive.”  She was pretending to look really serious and concerned, and I couldn’t help but smile.

“Sure, go ahead and make fun of me all you want,” I said, laughing.  “Next time you go out and chase it!”

“I won’t have to,” she retorted, picking up the phone.  “I’ll just have a wildlife trapper come out and take care of our armadillo problem.  Then, you and I can get a good night’s sleep.  You know, without all the running and hopping.”

Get Rid of Armadillo

get rid of armadillos
“Nooooo, Daddy, please don’t get rid of the armadillo!  Noooo!  It’s so cute.  I want to keep him.  I want him for my pet.  Please, Daddy, pleeeease?!”

            Dad groaned, and I could tell he wasn’t convinced yet that it was a great idea to keep the armadillo, much less keep it as a pet.  My baby sister, Emily, is usually very convincing when she wants something, and because she’s the baby in the family, Dad usually gives in.  Mom doesn’t, but Dad will, and we had a better chance with Mom if we could just get Dad on our side.

            But, it would take some major pleading to keep Dad from getting rid of the armadillo.  Over the last few weeks, he’d been angrier and angrier about our yard.  He thought it was a dog at first, because big chunks of grass and dirt were dug up and thrown around. He almost confronted our neighbor, even, who had a big Doberman.  Good thing he didn’t, because one day we noticed some of our trees were getting torn up, bark pulled off around the bottom.  Oh, man, was Dad mad then!  No dog does that, and after a lot of online research, Dad finally figured out it was probably an armadillo. 

            The way Dad ranted and raved, we all figured it would turn out to be some kind of monstrous wild creature, but when I saw it snuffling around in our grass, it was so cute!  It had this long nose and these adorable ears.  I stayed away from it, because I could also see the claws looked pretty sharp, but it was so sweet I had to get Emily outside to see it.

            Emily squealed when she saw it.  “Shhhh!”  I hushed her.  “If Dad sees it, he’ll just want to get rid of the armadillo.  We have to make him want to keep it for a pet.  You’re going to have to cry.”

            “Oh, man!  You always make me cry to Daddy when you want something,”  Emily complained.

            “Hey, you want this, too, don’t you?”

            “Yeah, I guess.”  She looked at the armadillo across the yard again.  “Yeah, I really do.”

            The whole time we talked, we watched the armadillo digging around a sprinkler head.  It didn’t look like the pipe was going to survive the digging.  Emily would have to do some serious begging!

            So, here we were, in the backyard, Emily crying and pleading, the armadillo scrabbling away in the big plastic box Dad put it in, Dad scowling at the damage in the yard, and me just keeping my mouth shut.

            I have to admit, I wasn’t all that surprised when Dad finally said, “I’m sorry, Em, but we’ve just got to get rid of the armadillo.”

            I was surprised, though, when he added, “But, I think it may be time to get a dog.  A really big dog.”  Yippeee!!!

How to Get Rid of Armadillos

how to get rid of armadillos
            I consider myself pretty athletic, so I thought I’d have no problems getting rid of the armadillo from my backyard.  I’m on the track team at school and play on a regional basketball team, so I thought I’d have no problem running after the armadillo that’s been digging up our backyard, but I had no idea what I was up against!

            At first, my Mom and I thought the armadillo was pretty cute.  I know, it’s not like it’s a puppy dog or adorable bunny, but it’s still cute.  When we first saw it, it waddled and hopped around in our backyard, snuffling everywhere in the grass.  We took pictures and laughed as our cat chased it around and batted at its hard shell.  Every now and then, when it got scared by the cat, it would jump straight up into the air. 

            We’re not laughing now, though.  There are holes and burrows all over our backyard, it’s scratched up the lawn, the mulch we laid in landscaping areas has been thrown everywhere, and it’s even killed some of our garden plants.  We didn’t make the connection with the armadillo at first.  We thought maybe a dog was digging around in our yard, until we saw the den.  The floorboards in our back patio had started to sag, and when I investigated, I found a pretty big burrow.  When we finally put it all together, we realized we needed to find out how to get rid of armadillos quick, or we’d end up losing the patio, garden, yard, or worse.  What if water got into the den up against our foundation?  Not good, I’m sure!

            So, one evening, I heard the armadillo’s shell rubbing up against the house.  I put on my shoes and headed outside, determined to catch the thing.  I approached it and reached out, and was surprised when it hopped out of my reach and took off scooting/hopping across the yard.  Those suckers can move faster than I thought they could!  But, I was on the run team, so I was sure it wasn’t a problem.  Just as I caught up with it, it threw itself into a ninety degree angle and took off toward the neighbor’s house.  I skidded, slipped, caught my balance and ran off after it again. 

            Soon, it was within my reach again, and I reached out.  My right hand touched its armored back and my left hand just barely got its tail.  I thought the chase was over, but then it bucked and kicked, and I shrieked and let go.  It took off again, but I was done.  Sheepishly, I looked around, hoping no one saw my clownish grabbing, running and yelping.  Fortunatley, I didn’t see anyone, and resolved the best way to get rid of armadillos is to get a professional wildlife removal specialist.  Let THEM run all over like idiots.  Okay, they probably have the right equipment for it.  As long as I don’t ever have to chase one around again!

Armadillo Removal

armadillo removal           
          There I was, minding my own business, sniffing around and jumping after crickets, when this giant, hard mouse comes wandering around my yard, and I find myself in need of some serious armadillo removal.  Course, I know it’s not a hard mouse, but this baby armadillo’s just as much of a pest, and I’m going to protect my yard against this…

            Dang it, why does it have to be so cute?  I mean, I keep swatting and swatting at it, and it just comes wandering back to me, nudging me with its tiny little nose. 

            No!  I’ve got to make sure I do this armadillo removal right!  I mean, if I don’t, it’ll do all kinds of bad things to my yard.  It’ll dig huge holes with its very sharp claws as it searches for bugs to eat, it could burrow under the trees or sidewalk or even make pipes break.  Pipes break and I don’t get my warm naps inside the house by the radiator anymore!  No, this little one’s got to go.  Swat, swat!

            Okay, now he just thinks I’m playing.  He’s going to just waddle away like that, like nothing’s wrong?  Gotcha!  I’ll hold onto your tail until . . . argh!  He got away.  Heehee.  He’s great at playing!  Jump!  Look over here, look!

            Oh, you’re not that great at looking, huh?  Bad eyesight?  But, boy can you sniff things!  And dig!  Look at those giant claws of yours.  And this hard shell.  Jab jab.  You’re too fun.

            But, I have to be careful, right?  I heard my person say you’re the only creature that can transmit leprosy, whatever that is, to humans.  Whatever it is, it doesn’t sound good.  I do understand the word tapeworm, though, and I know that’s bad – I don’t want to get that from you.

            You wouldn’t give me tapeworm, would you?  You’re too cute!  Gotcher tail!  Gotcher tail!  Now I’m going to pretend I don’t even know you’re there.  Lick, lick, lick.  No, you got me!  Hahaha.  Bump me with your tiny cute little nose, will ya?  Well, take that!  Aw, I just can’t stand it.  The only thing wrong with you is you’re not a cat. 

            As adorable as you are, I think you’ve gotta go.  My person’s going to have to call for armadillo removal since I can’t seem to overcome my need to play with you long enough to get rid of you myself.  I love it, you’re not vicious, you’re sweet, but you do present a few problems we just can’t afford to deal with.  I hope you find your mama again, or at least some really great playmates.  Go, little guy, go!